At its core, prayer is really just the method of communication with God – a one-on-one opportunity for you to commune and grow closer with the Lord.
Sometimes people pray to ask for blessings, sometimes for forgiveness. Some prayers are given in celebration and some are given as a confession. Sometimes it’s just nice to speak to God and know that you are being hurt.
Catholics, though, don’t just pray to God but also pray to many saints – including Mary.
Why do they do this and why is this practice so different from other parts of the Christian faith?
Read on to learn more!
Catholics Prayers Include Mary
Yes, Catholics pray to Mary (just like they pray to a number of other saints) – and understanding why starts by understanding a little bit more about the Catholic faith in general.
You see, Catholics believe that when a person is baptized they are brought in total into the faith, right into the mystical body of Christ himself.
Every person that’s been baptized is part of this community, including those that have passed on thousands of years before we were born.
James 5:16 tells us that the prayer of righteous believers is incredibly powerful. Why wouldn’t those prayers be sent to the most righteous of all the saints – the Blessed Mother, Mary herself?
Why Do Catholics Pray to Mary?
Mary has a hugely important role in the Catholic faith (and in Christianity in general), and we dig a little bit deeper into that in just a moment.
Right now, though, you should know that Catholics pray to Mary because of her position in the faith and because of her connection to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Many Catholics believe that praying to Mary draws us closer to Jesus, believing that prayers sent to her directly will lead her to deepen our faith and deepen our connection with Jesus as well.
Mary, after all, is the conduit through which God shows to come to us in the first place. That cannot and should not go overlooked or underappreciated.
Why is Mary Such a Big Part of the Catholic Church?
There are a lot of reasons behind why Mary is such a big part of the Catholic Church, but the point that we just mentioned – the fact that God chose Mary to be Jesus’s mother – is maybe the most important.
Mary played a huge role in God’s plan and continues to be a cornerstone of the Catholic Church.
Jesus himself described Mary as the spiritual mother of all that are born into the New Creation that is the Christian faith, and Catholics understand her to be the mother of every follower and disciple of Jesus, too.
It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful gift given from God than this.
Is It Biblical to Pray to Mary?
While there are no passages in the Bible that tell us we should pray to Mary (and that’s where some of the disagreements between Catholics and members of other Christian faiths bubble up from), the Bible does tell us about the power of prayer.
What could make our prayers more powerful, our communion with God deeper, then praying to the Blessed Mother?
This is not to suggest that there are no passages in the Bible that speak of the importance of Mary in the church or her role as the faithful’s mother.
We know that at the scene of Jesus’s crucifixion described in Jon 19:26 – 27 Jesus says to St. John “Behold your mother” and then to Mary he says “Woman, behold your son”.
Many in the Catholic faith take this passage to mean that Jesus was making Mary the mother of the Catholic faith (even if he did so symbolically).
At the end of the day, all Christians agree that Mary is a big part of our faith and a big part of our religion.
Catholics may also take that another step forward, praying to Mary, but it’s done in recognition of just how important and how core that woman is to our beliefs.
If you’d like to pray to Mary yourself, it’s not a bad idea to start with the Hail Mary prayer or the Hail Holy Queen prayer. They both pay great respect to the mother of all Christians.